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House GOP blocks another cannabis vote (Newsletter: April 19, 2018)



L.A. considers consumption lounges; AAA offers free 4/20 rides; Dan Savage launches marijuana film fest

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The U.S. House Rules Committee blocked a vote on another marijuana amendment, this one a measure to remove the 280E tax penalty on cannabis businesses.

Maine lawmakers sent a bill significantly expanding the state’s medical cannabis program to Gov. Paul LePage (R).


The White House is getting behind prison reform legislation.

Politico looks at how former Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), a co-founder of prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, makes money working with pharmaceutical companies.

Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA) is encouraging people to submit marijuana rescheduling comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA) said his marijuana descheduling bill, if allowed a floor vote, would pass “with a bipartisan majority – that’s probably close to 300 out of 435 votes.”

Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN) tweeted about growing bipartisan support for medical cannabis research.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “A recent study shows a 14% reduction in opioid prescriptions in states that allow medical marijuana. This is yet another reason for more lax marijuana laws — to treat the opioid epidemic and save lives.”

Congressman Lacy Clay (D-MO) announced he is cosponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act.

Here’s a look at U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) effort to expedite consideration of his hemp legalization bill.

The U.S. House bill to encourage research on medical cannabis for veterans got 32 new cosponsors, for a total of 34.

The U.S. House bill to deschedule marijuana and withhold funding from states with discriminatory enforcement got one new cosponsor, for a total of 27.

Nevada Democratic congressional candidate Amy Vilela tweeted, “Taking Trump at his word on #cannabis legal states, particularly given the comments of his Attorney General, is a mistake. The administration should defer to the states, but we must continue to press for an end to federal cannabis #prohibition.”

New Hampshire Democratic congressional candidate Terence O’Rourke said, ““Every dollar we’re spending chasing marijuana is a dollar we could be spending chasing the fat cats on Wall Street,”

(In yesterday’s Marijuana Moment I included the wrong link for an item about Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) saying Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is expected to run for the top GOP House spot following the retirement of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), would be an improvement for marijuana policy. The correct link is here.)


Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is working with the medical cannabis industry on reforms to the state’s program, including lower patient fees.

Oklahoma lawmakers sent a hemp bill to the desk of Gov. Mary Fallin (R).

The Alaska Senate passed a resolution urging the federal government to respect state marijuana laws.

The Illinois House of Representatives approved a bill to allow medical cannabis administration at schools.

The California Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee approved a bill to license banks to serve the marijuana industry. And the Assembly Business and Professions Committee passed several cannabis reform bills.

Colorado’s Senate Judiciary Committee defeated a bill to allow marijuana delivery pilot projects.

Hawaii’s industrial hemp pilot program will start accepting applications for licenses.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted a video about two twin girls who use medical cannabis to treat autism spectrum disorders.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidates discussed marijuana legalization during a debate.

New York Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon discussed her support for marijuana legalization, revealing that she’s only consumed cannabis twice.

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Schiavoni, currently a state senator, tweeted about his support for legalizing marijuana.

Colorado Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis, currently a congressman, tweeted about the economic benefits of marijuana legalization.

Here’s a look at where Tennessee Republican gubernatorial candidates stand on medical cannabis.

Massachusetts’s top marijuana regulator spoke about the need to protect medical cannabis supply.

Delaware lawmakers filed legislation to add glaucoma, chronic debilitating migraines, pediatric autism spectrum disorder and pediatric sensory processing disorder as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

A New York senator introduced a bill to allow administration of medical cannabis at schools.

Connecticut regulators received 73 applications to open new medical cannabis dispensaries.

Puerto Rico officials are projecting that medical cannabis taxes will generate $14 million per year.

Louisiana regulators awarded more medical cannabis pharmacy licenses.

Washington State regulators proposed rules on cannabis vapor products and retail title certificates.


Los Angeles, California’s top marijuana regulator said the city is considering allowing consumption lounges.


UK Prime Minister Theresa May faced a question about granting medical cannabis access to a six-year-old boy suffering from severe epilepsy.

Canada’s health minister dismissed a resolution calling for decriminalization of all drugs ahead of a Saturday vote at the Liberal Party conference. Meanwhile, racial disparities persist in the country’s marijuana arrest rates.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning the bloody Philippine “drug war.”

Belgian police seized CBD from a nine-year-old who uses it to treat seizures.


Trump ally Roger Stone co-authored an op-ed calling for increased access to medical cannabis for military veterans.

Prohibitionist group Marijuana Accountability Coalition is asking people who feel that have been victimized by legalization to submit their stories, which will be used at a “national 4/20 event in Washington, D.C. with Smart Approaches to Marijuana and Patrick Kennedy.”


A review concluded that “associations between cannabis use and cognitive functioning in cross-sectional studies of adolescents and young adults are small and may be of questionable clinical importance for most individuals” and that “previous studies of cannabis in youth may have overstated the magnitude and persistence of cognitive deficits associated with use.”


The Seattle Times editorial board is skeptical of President Trump’s pledge to respect state marijuana laws.


AAA is offering free “tipsy tow” rides on 4/20 in California and Nevada.

Marijuana delivery service Eaze is expanding into Los Angeles, California.

The CEO of GW Pharmaceuticals spoke about the looming approval of the company’s CBD drug.

/ CULTURE     

Dan Savage is launching a new marijuana film festival for next year’s 4/20, with events in Denver, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland.

Actor Matthew Modine called on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to support marijuana law reform, adding that he uses CBD oil for neck pain.

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta is rolling out part four of his continuing “WEED” series this weekend.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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